Steppin’ Out; The maiden voyage, Lymm to Castlefield.

The pic if it’s still there is myself, left, then Harry, Cath and Steve.

Hi everyone the first days cruising on my wonderful boat. I sat with my coffee this morning and realised “oh it’s here”. My dream of several years has arrived and in a few short minutes my co pilot Steve will arrive and Harry and Cath to pick us up. Lo and behold they arrived and after a little packing off we went with sounds of bunting being raised behind us and much cheering.

After a lovely ride through Buxton and Congleton and places in between we arrived at Lymm and Brian showed us the workings and off we set. The first trip wasn’t very far about 200 yds actually so we could moor up off the club site where it was moored and Brian could go home and we could put the kettle on before our friends went home. Nice they brought us up. Brian did ask if I’d bought a big enough boat so maybe I need to get rid of some more stuff. This all seemed more difficult now there wasn’t someone there who knew what they were doing. How do you get the back end in once you’ve got the front end in, well it did eventually.

After setting off again we kept swapping over so we could both get used to steering and thankfully we didn’t see too many boats but there half a dozen scullers out near Sale but I managed not to sink any of them. Pretty uneventful till we got Castlfield basin and had to try and stop, go backwards a little and turn of s*********. We hit the back and then pushed off another boat, all at very slow pace and managed to back up enough to turn and head for a mooring spot near The Wharf pub, we may try it out later.

Time for dinner as it was now about 5.30. Steak pie and veg and while it was cooking we broke open a bottle of Glenfiddich whisky supplied by a couple of young friends who I am helping to learn guitar. Big thanks to Danica and Ethan.

Had a few odd thoughts while cruising about whether I’ve done the right thing and all that sort of stuff but that’s just what happens when ever you try something new and so very different. If I look logically then I have definitely done the right thing and my hearts say so too. So onwards and upwards tomorrow up the Rochdale nine and a few more locks after them. Who know how far we might get.

God bless you and more to come tomorrow night now we’re beginning to get the hang of things. Well I hope so anyway.


and co pilot Steve.


Useful Information
Our Nige

55 years old. I work in registered care as a care assistant and have my house up for sale and when sold will be buying a narrowboat of some kind to live on. Been a bit of a dream of mine for many years. Don't know for certain if I'll like it but I'm really looking forward to it and think that I will. I have been looking at boats and reading and talking to people over the last 6 to 9 monts and sometimes I feel like I might know what layout I want. I will be on a restricted budget of about 25 to 35k and will be looking for advice and tips to help me make a fair start on the water.

Paul Smith - Monday,22 April, 2013

I’m delighted to read that you’re finally under way Nige. Your day sounds idylic to me. With regard to pulling in to the bank, make sure that you have a centre line on your lovely new boat and that you use it all of the time. It’s the most important rope you’ve got. Make sure that the rope is to hand from your steering position at all times. When you step off the boat, take the centre rope with you. Use this to pull the boat to the bank and you won’t have a problem with either the bow or the stern drifting out when you try to pull one end in.

What is your plan once you’ve completed your maiden voyage? Do you have to return to a mooring so that you can work? (You look too young to retire!). Do you have a mooring yet?


Our Nige - Monday,22 April, 2013

Thanks Paul it’s not pulling in that’s the problem it’s getting the back end in far enough for one of us to step off, the curse of not having a front deck but we’ll get used to it. I have a mooring at Mercia marina Willington waiting for when I get back and unfortunately I do have to work or will. I’ve been offered a job in a nice new warehouse near where I used to live so now have to travel about half an hour. We shall learn a bit more boat handling today and report later. Many thanks about the centre rope and we’ve found it very useful so far.

Many thanks



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